Agriculture sector warns of wider drought impact | Fin24

Agriculture sector warns of wider drought impact

Nov 11 2015 18:49
Carin Smith

Cape Town - It is clear that the drought situation is not limited to South Africa, but has an extensive regional reach that will have further socio-economic and food security ramifications at regional level as well, Agri SA and the SA Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) said on Wednesday.

Concerned major stakeholders from agriculture organisations, the banking sector and government institutions met on November 10 2015 to discuss the effect of the rapidly deteriorating drought situation in South Africa on the broader agriculture sector and food security in particular.

According to Agri SA and Agbiz, good rainfall in the summer rainfall region of South Africa over the next months is possible and can still break the drought cycle and ensure relief for crop and livestock farmers especially.

However, scenarios are increasingly pointing to a situation where significant imports of maize, as staple food crop, will become necessary, as well as the provision of fodder for breeding herds of livestock to be maintained.
"While agricultural financiers will strive to the best of their abilities to assist farmers to survive the drought through debt consolidation and other means, they are also bound by, amongst others, stipulations of the National Credit Act in terms of strict lending practices that need to be adhered to," Agri SA pointed out.  
Given the challenges that the broader sector faces, a task team of the major stakeholders, including Agri SA, Agbiz, Land Bank, IDC and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), as well as others to be invited, will draft action plans to assist in mitigating the indicated risks that this serious drought poses.

This will include engaging with government to ensure food security and the sustainability of the industry, according to Agri SA and Agbiz.

agbiz  |  agri sa  |  drought  |  agribusiness  |  agriculture


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